Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/07/2016

1. New Pirate Tactics Emerge
The suezmax tanker "Bouboulina" was hit by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea to the southwest of the Abgami Offshore Terminal. The ship had departed the terminal and was en route to Brazil when the armed pirates struck. They boarded the ship and the crew retreated to the vessel’s citadel. When the crew came out, the pirates had left having ransacked much of the accommodation block. This is the first reported attack in this area of the Nigerian EEZ since May. The two-month break in piracy followed a series of kidnappings of crew for ransom by heavily armed gangs, and could reflect a change in tactics by the pirates.
2. Panama Expansion Safety Concerns
Consultants have compiled a report on the Panama Canal’s new locks raising safety concerns resulting from the $5.3bn expansion project could lead to accidents. The Canal’s new locks allow the trans-oceanic waterway to handle the gigantic neo-panamax container vessels. But PGI’s report says that the locks are 427m long and 55m wide, while neo-panamaxes reach 366m and 49m in the same categories. That leaves just 6m width and 61m length of wriggle room and tugboats will be used on both ends of these ships to get them through the locks. The report cites structural concerns and draft restrictions during times of drought.
3. Latest ReCAAP Piracy Report
The latest half year report from ReCAAP which covers incidents of piracy and armed robbery in Asian waters during January to June, shows that only 2 hijackings of ships for the purpose of oil cargo theft have occurred so far in 2016, compared to 10 in 2015. The period is also noted to have marked the end of an 8 month run in which no hijackings of ships were reported for the purpose of oil cargo theft. Overall, ReCAPP says the first half of 2016 saw a 65 percent year on year decrease in the number of piracy and armed robbery incidents – the lowest number of overall incidents in a 5 year period.
4. Abu Sayyaf Ramps Up
Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three Indonesian fishermen on the weekend in the latest in a series of incidents highlighting weak security in the Cerebes Sea that borders Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The head of Indonesia’s intelligence agency said Monday that the men were working on a Malaysian fishing boat off Lahad Datu in the Malaysian part of northern Borneo. Sutiyoso, who goes by one name, said the kidnappers fled with their hostages into Philippine waters. Several crew on the fishing boat escaped and are now in Malaysia.
5. Ferry Does Cross Mersey
More than 70 people were evacuated after a ferry began to sink in Merseyside over the weekend. Passengers evacuated the sinking ship during the Manchester Canal Cruise after the ship began filling up with water. It was in the middle of a day cruise along the Manchester Ship canal to Salford Quays. All passengers were helped on to a dredger – which was also used to pump water out of the ferry as it began to capsize. Merseytravel – who runs the ferries – said: "We can confirm that the Royal Iris ferry Manchester Ship Canal cruise was abandoned today following reports of the ferry taking on water.
6. Resurgence in Cape Activity
Since the beginning of the second quarter of this year, the Capesize market has seen a resurgence in activity, which has resulted in steady freight rates. The key Port Hedland, Western Australia, to Qingdao, China, 170,000 mt iron route hit a year-to-date high of $4.95/wmt on June 8 after having breached the $4.30/wmt mark on June 1. The Capesize front haul iron ore route from Tubarao in Brazil to Qingdao had the rate perking up from $7.30/wmt on May 11 to an average of $9.09/wmt for June. The Capesize market has been boosted by a firming iron ore market with Chinese steel mills increasing their lifting

7. Different Levels of Autonomy
New guidance provides the route to classification with six levels for autonomous ships. With autonomous ships likely to enter service soon, LR has set out the ‘how’ of marine autonomous operations in a new ShipRight procedure guidance. The guidance describes autonomy levels (AL) ranging from ‘AL 1’ through to ‘AL 6’ denoting a fully autonomous ship with no access required during a mission. The ‘AL’ system of levels provides clarity to designers, shipbuilders, equipment manufacturers, ship owners and operators, enabling accurate specification of the desired level of autonomy in design and operations.
8. Shipmanagers Fight for Relevance
“Shipmanagers are more relevant than ever right now,” argues the head of the world’s largest shipmanagement company. Clive Richardson, ceo of V.Group, while notes there’s a focus among owners today on controlling vessel opex and avoiding operational delays, so that vessels earn maximum charter fees in what he describes as “thin trading conditions”. “However,” Richardson adds, “increasingly, owners want solutions that help them manage their assets not just a technical management solution.” Richardson’s company’s philosophy maintains that being part of a client’s extended enterprise is the right approach.
9. Owners Decry Recycling Certification
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) say ship recycling licences proposed by the EU could be seen as “anti-competitive” and would undermine the IMO’s own efforts to improve working and environmental conditions at shipbreaking yards in developing countries. The proposed new regulation, currently being considered by the European Commission (EC), would force ships sailing under any flag to pay for ship recycling licences when calling at EU ports. The proceeds from the licences would be paid into a proposed EU Fund.
10. IMO Used for Dodgy Diplomats
A former model Christina Estrada has celebrated a £75 million divorce settlement in cash and assets from her billionaire ex-husband, Walid Juffali, a Saudi businessman who divorced Ms Estrada in 2013. Amongst the ways that Mr Juffali sought to escape handing over such a divorce pot was to claim to be on the London Diplomatic List as St Lucia’s “Permanent Representative” to the IMO. This despite the fact that he never attended any meetings of the IMO, nor did he possess any qualifications in shipping or maritime law. How many others are in the IMO under similar spurious guises?

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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